RED Rocket prep

Joe Riggs Jul 21, 2015

  1. Hello,

    I'll be using a thunderbolt external RED rocket in a couple weeks. I've never used one before and just want to avoid any potential pitfalls. Setup specs, 3.4 GHz core i7, 24GB ram, GTX 680MX.

    Does my setup need any drivers to run the rocket, other than the RED Rocket installer?

    Any settings need to be enabled or disabled in RED Cine X?

    What kind of speeds should I expect with my setup and the rocket when transcoding RED 5k footage, real time or slower?

  2. Can a Red Rocket even run in an external thunderbolt enclosure? That's news to me. Have you talked to Red about this?

    You might be better off just buying an older desktop Mac with PCI slots and using that just for dailies, since the board will drop right in.
  3. I'm not convinced it will work.
  4. Really, why? Surely there would be tremendous blowback on forums if the product didn't work.
  5. Jason Myres

    Jason Myres Moderator

    From the Sonnet link above....
    As far as playback, it depends on which RED Rocket you're getting. The original RED Rocket was designed for debayering RED One R3Ds, so you'll get realtime 24fps at 4K, but only around 18-20fps with 5K EPIC. Realtime with 5K requires a second card. I've never tested two cards in a Thunderbolt enclosure, but I believe it should work.

    If you're getting a RED Rocket-X, that will give you faster than realtime even with Dragon 6K as long as your CPU and storage don't create a bottleneck. However, a lot of this has become a moot point now that GPU de-bayering offers the same performance for the cost of a better (GTX 780, 980) video card.

    Once you get the card, you'll just need to install the RED Rocket driver and possibly update the firmware depending on which version is on it.
  6. The Thunderbolt interface will also handicap the RR-X. So you still wouldn't get RT 6K. RT 5K might be possible.
  7. According to their comparability chart:

    In Sonnet tests, RED ROCKET with a Thunderbolt 2-equipped Echo Express III supported:

    • 24 fps @ 5K, full-frame, 8-bit
    • 11 fps @ 5K, full-frame, 16-bit

    These results may vary depending on configuration and are provided for information purposes. Sonnet does not guarantee any particular performance of third-party cards.
    In Sonnet tests, RED ROCKET X with a Thunderbolt 2-equipped Echo Express III supported:

    • 32 fps @ 5K, full-frame, 8-bit (note: should be sufficient for playback of dailies in the field)
    • 16 fps @ 5K, full-frame, 16-bit
    • 22 fps @ 6K, full-frame, 8-bit
    • 12 fps @ 6K, full-frame, 16-bit
    • 64.5 fps @ 6K, full-frame, 8-bit, exporting to 1080
    • 58.5 fps @ 6K, full-frame, 8-bit, exporting to 1080 (note: should be able to do 3D 1080 in real time)

    These results are preliminary using beta software and may vary depending on configuration and are provided for information purposes. Sonnet does not guarantee any particular performance of third-party cards.
  8. Resolve vs Red Cine X which do prefer for creating dailies from RED footage?
  9. I would say it depends on the hardware. There's pros and cons either way, depending on the final destination, and many workflows covered out there on the web. Often, I find combinations of different systems are needed to ultimately get the job done. Viewing dailies, on-set dailies, web dailies, and transcodes for editing all often have different requirements.

    Have a meeting with your editorial team and come up with a workflow that works for everybody based on the hardware, storage, and expectations involved. (Available schedule and budget are also big factors.)
  10. Jason Myres is spot on. Marc, you know your stuff, but a Thunderbolted Rocket card absolutely helps transcode speeds out in the field. Yes, you aren't getting the *full* potential. But faster is better than not-faster when you're on set.

    If you have the option, you're better off buying beefy GPUs, since those work on all footage, not just R3D files. But for the OP's specific question: download the Red Rocket drivers (free) and make sure whatever program you are using is told to utilize the Rocket. In RCX, under your viewing window, there are a bunch of buttons. The icon on one of them is a Rocket. Click it and you'll have the settings come up.
  11. I'm using a 2.8 with 16gb and GT650. Without a RRX, it transcodes at 5fps. With a RRX in Sonet/ chassis, it is only running 15fps.

    Is this normal?????

    If so, why are we paying a premium to use a RRX?????

    I have MacPro with 3 x GTX680 cards that runs full 6K transcodes at 22fps. If I add a Titan into the mix, it should run transcodes in real time.

    Does this figure of 15fps with a RRX card with Sonet/ Chassis and the above specs, sound correct????? or am I missing something???

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